DEFENDING champion Chiang Kai Shek College notched its second straight win by drubbing Grace Christian College, 96-59, to take the early lead in the 43rd Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association-BonChon Chicken Championship at the CKSC gym in Manila.
The Blue Dragons led from start to finish with Joshua Tan, Paulo Pilanga, and Dale Dy producing huge numbers.
Held to just 12 points in the second quarter that saw their lead cut down to 39-31 at the half, the Blue Dragons came through with several spurts in the third to finally rip the game apart, 63-43, going into the final 10 minutes.
That gave CKSC coach Goldwin Monteverde the luxury of using his second unit, which likewise contributed significantly to their cause of going for a back-to-back title in the event presented by BonChon Chicken and backed by Solar BTV, Molten and Summit Water.
Meantime, Hope Christian bounced back from a stinging 80-76 loss to CKSC by overpowering host St. Stephen’s High School, 95-63, thanks to the 26-point performance of Jose Go.
Go was at his best in the second quarter as he went six-for-six from the three-point area to finish the half with 24 points.
Still, it was only in the third quarter when Hope Christian finally pulled away from a tight contest after John Apacible sparked a 7-0 run before Mark Nunez and Jobert Mercado joined the scoring spree.
Tan led the Dragons with 20 markers, while Pilanga and Dy chipped in 19 and 17 points, respectively as they helped CKSC hand Grace Christian its second straight defeat.
Rodney Gonzales paced GCC with 25 points.
In the Aspirants division, Chiang Kai Shek College clobbered Grace Christian College, 91-29, to jumpstart its title-retention bid, while Xavier School outlasted St. Stephen’s, 56-44.
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